Ever since Tom Tallant was a little boy, he has called the hospital a second home. From its very inception as Community Memorial Hospital where his dad was the first administrator to Materials Management Director at the current Spooner Health, Tom’s life and memories are delicately interwoven with the history of the hospital.
Tom Tallant Sr. was the first administrator of Community Memorial Hospital which opened in 1955. As the first hospital in the area, the tight-knit community of Spooner rallied around the success of the rural healthcare facility, including the success of Tallant Sr. He was not only a highly respected member of the community and the hospital administrator, but he was also the lab technician, the x-ray technician and the anesthetist. Tom Tallant Jr. has fond memories of his dad – from keeping him company in his office to using his dad’s parking space to avoid a speeding ticket (a story he will happily tell you throughout his retirement). After Tom Tallant Jr.’s graduation from college in the early 1970s, it only made sense that he started his career at the hospital, where it all began.
The staff at Spooner Community Memorial Hospital, renamed in 1972, was a very small, but close group and the healthcare industry was drastically different in the 1960s. Everything was recycled and reused. Nurses wore the famous white caps on their heads. The food distributor was Link Brothers in Minong and the pharmacy was Red Cross. It took a village to raise a hospital and without the help of the entire community, the hospital could not have grown to what it is today. Tallant, over the last 44 years, has seen the hospital undertake major industry and technological advancements. He says that “Being a part of Spooner Health’s success has been a highlight of my career. From our state of the art OR to our 3D mammography, our technology rivals hospitals in greater populated areas. I’ve enjoyed seeing Spooner Health thrive when faced with challenges.” He hopes to see the hospital continue to grow by investing in what the community needs.
Tallant also notes that over the past 44 years, he has been honored to work with so many gifted people that have come in and out of Spooner Health. These various experiences and people have broadened his horizons and years of relationships have extended beyond friendships – Spooner Health has become family. Tallant says, “Missing everyone is going to be the worst part of this process. It’s the equivalent to moving out of the folks’ basement. I’m moving away from my home and I’m going to miss my family tremendously.”
As Tom’s time at Spooner Health comes to an end, he plans on traveling, dedicating more time to photography and making more memories with his children and grandchildren – a well-deserved retirement for a Spooner Health icon.
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